There are times in every business and with every team where change becomes an imperative for growth and sustainability. In many cases, these moments don’t occur as a single event that marks the need for change, but rather as an unfolding series of factors that signal to leaders that absent significant evolution, the organization or the team will likely become irrelevant. While there are disruptors that have shaped a number of markets, such as Amazon’s impact on the retail space and Twitter’s remaking of the news and social networking industries, it’s important to distinguish disrupting a market from operating as a disruptive leader. They are wholly different.
My mother was an elegant woman who never went out in public without looking very pulled together. Her hair was always well-coiffed, her clothes properly tailored and suited for her petite frame, and her youthful face was stark in its contrast to the date of birth listed on her passport. “If you want to look good ten years from now,” she said, “you’d better get started on that today.” Many years later I realized that my mother’s advice applies to both life and business.